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LLOYD'S Register of Shipping, which united roth the
British Corporation Register in 1949, is a voluntary associa-
tion of shipowners, shipbuilders and underwriters which
exists primarily for the purpose of surveying and classifying
ships of any nationality and disseminating this information
through the medium of the annual publication of Lloyd's
Register Book, which contains in addition to details of
classed ships particulars of all seagoing vessels of 100 tons
and upwards. There are other classification societies also
operating with like purpose, e.g. the Bureau Veritas and
the American Bureau of Shipping, but as Lloyd's Register
classifies 95 per cent of British tonnage and over 42 per cent
of the world's tonnage, it is proposed in this chapter to deal
only with the work of that institution.

Its foundations, like those of the great Marine Insurance
Corporation of Lloyd's, were laid in Lloyd's Coffee-house,
which was situated in Tower Street in 1688 and afterwards
moved to Lombard Street. Here the proprietor, Mr.
Edward Lloyd, finding his establishment much frequented
fay underwriters, catered for his clients by collecting and
publishing such information as was available regarding the
ships they might be called upon to insure; and there is
little doubt that the old Underwriters' Registry which was
founded in 1760 emerged from this source.

The oldest copy of a Register of Shipping—as far as can
be ascertained—is one which is in the possession of Lloyd's
Register of Shipping, and bears the date 1764-65-66, for
which period it was evidently current. This book was the
"Underwriters' Register" or "Green Book," the letters
A E10 U being employed for designating the several classes,
whilst the letters G, M, and B (good, middling, and bad),
described the condition of the equipment.

In the 1775-76 edition there first appeared the now

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